Foreign workers taken to work in the fields of northern Italy. A network that was exploiting them was discovered by the Italian financial police in collaboration with the national social security institute INPS. May 28, 2019 | Photo: ANSA/ GUARDIA DI FINANZA
Foreign workers taken to work in the fields of northern Italy. A network that was exploiting them was discovered by the Italian financial police in collaboration with the national social security institute INPS. May 28, 2019 | Photo: ANSA/ GUARDIA DI FINANZA

Italy's agriculture minister has said that the government is committed to increasing the effectiveness of sector monitoring to prevent abusive labor practices.

An investigation into abusive labor practices in the agricultural sector was at the center of a hearing on Wednesday at the Labor and Agriculture Joint Commission at the Chamber of deputies. 


The minister for agriculture, Teresa Bellanova, stressed she is committed to not only increase checks in the sector but to make them more effective as well. 

She noted that this would be done through ''a single registrar of agricultural checks to prevent the same checks from being carried out on the same firms. Enterprises have the right to be ensured and it is in the interest of the public administration to manage its resources in a better way.'' 

Thousands of people and firms to protect 

"We must work together," she added, "on all fronts, since abusive labor practices are a crime. And the state - if it organizes its forces, shares objectives and means and moves in a united manner - can deal with the problems, beginning with areas where they are the most severe."

The minister stressed that "we must not forget that there are thousands of people to protect, that there are thousands of firms that are waiting for responses for their daily work, that there is a system whose credibility must be safeguarded."

"The recent operations in Latina and Foggia,'' towns in central and southern Italy, "remind us," she said, "how brutal the exploitation is, to what extent rights are denied. And here I also want to say that this phenomenon is unfortunately not limited to the agricultural sector, on which Law 199 of 2016 focuses." 

"I believe that parliamentary debate is necessary to extend it to other sectors," the minister said. 
 

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